Before last May, brothers Julio and Goño Enriquez did a majority of their running on soccer fields.

Before last May, brothers Julio and Goño Enriquez did a majority of their running on soccer fields.

It was then when they gave distance running a try, running in a 5-kilometer race during Lone Grove Days. Then, Kevin Keys of Lone Grove asked them if they wanted to race with him and his friends.

It’s paid off well. Goño Enriquez, the younger brother by eight years, qualified for the Boston Marathon in his first-ever marathon five months later in Lawton.

Why marathons?

“It’s the perfect distance to prove yourself,” Goño, 25, said Friday. “It’s a lot of pain, but you think, ‘I did it.’ It’s all worth it.”

He ran 3 hours, 6 minutes — beating the qualifying time by 4 minutes — and took third place in the Spirit of Survival Marathon. Julio finished eighth in 3:19, his best marathon finish to date.

Now, he’s going for Boston as well, as the brothers run today in the Arbuckles to Ardmore Race for Mercy.

The brothers run 45-60 miles over five days per week. They continue to run also because it’s a way for them to meet other people.

“It’s amazing, it’s excitement,” said Goño, an assistant manager at IHOP in Ardmore. “Most of the time, you have to drive around.”

The Enriquez brothers’ fourth marathon will be their first on home turf. They competed in Tulsa’s Williams Route 66 Marathon in November and Dallas’ White Rock Marathon in December.

Natives of the central Mexican city of San Luis Potosi, the Enriquezes called Ardmore home since the 1990s. Julio came in 1996 and Goño followed three years later, both looking for opportunities and freedom that the U.S. has to offer. Now, many of their relatives reside in Ardmore, while their parents remain in Mexico.

Maybe the Boston Marathon will be an addition to the American opportunities — for both.

“It’s like the Super Bowl for a marathon runner,” said Julio, a cook at Casa Romo Mexican Restaurant in Ardmore. “I’m doing it for the prestige, the history. If you’re in a marathon, you want to go to Boston.”

I.C. Murrell


Where will they run?

Bar Nothin’ Marathon, start at 8 a.m.: The runners will start at Turner Falls Park and race down U.S. Highway 77 before they turn west on Veterans Boulevard, heading toward Interstate 35 and back north for the city lake. They’ll reverse their direction and go east on Veterans, then they’ll turn north on Chickasaw Boulevard, heading for a lap around the Noble Stadium track to finish.

Valero Fast-Half Marathon, start at 8 a.m.: This race will start at approximately the Murray/Carter county line, and runners will simply race down U.S. 77 and turn east on Veterans Boulevard, taking the same finish route as the marathoners from Chickasaw Boulevard.

Henry Roberts Express Pharmacy 5K, start at 9 a.m.: Runners will start on Campus Drive (north of Noble Stadium) and go west toward Chickasaw, where they’ll turn north and then make a right on Franklin Boulevard. They’ll head down South Franklin and make a loop, going back north on Oak Tree Drive and going back on Chickasaw, where they’ll go north before reaching a “Y”. From there, they’ll turn left on Country Club Road and go south on North Commerce Street, turn off on Stone Creek Place and back south on Chickasaw toward Campus Drive. They’ll head into Noble Stadium for their lap around the track to finish.

Where can you park?

Parking is allowed at designated spots near Ardmore High School and the Ardmore Higher Education Center, but it’s not allowed at the marathon or half-marathon start areas or along U.S. 77. From State Highway 53, however, parking areas will be available and fans can safely gather along the course to cheer on runners.

— I.C. Murrell